x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Watson turns back clock for inspiration

All-rounder Shane Watson had haunting memories in mind as he looked to inspire Australia to an unlikely victory in the second Test with Pakistan.

All-rounder Shane Watson had haunting memories in mind as he looked to inspire Australia to an unlikely victory in the second Test with Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground this morning. The Baggy Greens were expected to get the fourth day under way at 3am UAE time this morning with a narrow 80-run lead and two wickets left. Mike Hussey (73 not out) was at the crease alongside Peter Siddle (10 not out).

But despite seeing his side trail by 206 runs after the first innings, Watson said he believed the Aussies could still secure success if Siddle and Hussey extended the lead to around 150. And he looked to old rivals South Africa for motivation. Back in January 1994, the Proteas bowled Australia out for 111 chasing 117 in Sydney and Watson refused to rule out a possible - albeit more positive - repeat. "I definitely think we're still in it," he said.

"It's obviously not the day that we were hoping for - it would have been nice to get at least 200 in front - but while Mike Hussey and Peter Siddle are there we still have a chance. "Best case scenario, I reckon 150 would be a target, and if everything goes well and we bowl well there's a chance we could give ourselves an opportunity to win the game. "[In] the South African game in '94, South Africa bowled us out for around 120 or less so we've got to still give ourselves a chance to be able to try to have a decent enough target to bowl at."

Watson was Australia's stand-out man, hitting 97 when many of his teammates performed poorly. Yet it was the third time in his Test career he fell in the 90s. "I'm not really worried about it. I was really happy with the way I batted today," he said. "Of course it's always nice to try to break that 100 barrier, but I suppose I'm lucky I didn't get that ball earlier in the innings otherwise I would have been out."

Pakistan leg-spinner Danish Kaneria also conceded the game still had a course to run. "Australians play hard cricket and positive cricket," he said. "It's a new day and let's see how it goes. No matter if they get 120 or 130, we need to chase it down." gmeenaghan@thenational.ae Australia v Pakistan, 2.30am Showsports 2